Kevin Bonham covers regional news, mostly from northeast North Dakota, for the Grand Forks Herald. A North Dakota native who grew up in Mandan and Dickinson, he has been a reporter or an editor with the Herald and Forum Communications for more than 30 years. Find his articles at: www.grandforksherald.com. He welcomes story ideas via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone, (701) 780-1110.
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Could it be that being born in a blizzard prepares a child for just about anything in life? The sons of two women who gave birth at the former St. Michael's Hospital in Grand Forks during the historic blizzard of March 1966 provide some evidence of that. Steve Johnson, who is observing his 50th birthday today, grew up to win the 1983 North Dakota High School Hockey Championship with Grand Forks Central High School and the 1987 NCAA Hockey Championship with UND.
PEMBINA, N.D.—The Pembina County Water Resource District finally should get its day in court next month in a 12-year-old civil lawsuit against a Manitoba municipality over a border road between the U.S. and Canada. The trial, which was scheduled to start Feb. 22 in Canadian federal court in Winnipeg, has been postponed until April 4. The 34-mile road dike runs along the Canadian side of the border between Pembina and Neche, N.D.
Did you experience the Ides of March blizzard, the tragic Red River Valley blizzard that struck on March 15, 1941? If so, we'd like to hear from you. In commemoration of the 75th anniversary of that blizzard, the Herald will revisit the storm through memories and photographs. That three-day blizzard claimed the lives of 72 people in the region, including three in Grand Forks, 38 in all of North Dakota, 28 in Minnesota and six in Manitoba.
DEVILS LAKE—A proposed convention center/hotel project could be successful in Devils Lake, but it likely would face some challenges, according to a recent study. Such a convention center would have the best shot at succeeding if it would be attached to a hotel and accommodate groups of 100 to 150 people, Steve Powell, CEO of Destination Services, St. Charles, Mo., told Devils Lake civic leaders this week in a preliminary report.
Hillsboro bakery moving to 'appointments only' Our Town Bakery in Hillsboro, N.D., is closing its doors for regular retail trade. The bakery, which has been featured in regional and national publications, including Conde Nast Traveler, soon will be operating strictly on an "appointments only" basis, according to a report in the Hillsboro Banner. Owner Virginia Nicholl, Galesburg, N.D., said the bakery has seen a drastic cut in foot traffic. She bought the bakery from Hillsboro resident Amanda Johnson in November 2014.
DEVILS LAKE—Jim Davis was a college student, living with his family in Devils Lake, when the Blizzard of March 1966 reached the city. The city was hosting the regional Class B high school basketball tournament that week. While the storm struck western North Dakota much earlier, it didn't reach Devils Lake until late in the afternoon, he said. "People were traveling," he said. "It wasn't until later in Devils Lake that the warning came out that people shouldn't be driving."
Blizzard highlights Here are some highlights of the storm, as documented in the book, One to Remember: The Relentless Blizzard of March 1966: • Five people died in North Dakota during the blizzard, including two young girls. A 6-year-old Strasburg girl, fully clothed for the outdoors, became separated from her two brothers when the children went from their home to the barn, a distance of 60 feet away. She was found two days later, frozen to death, a quarter of a mile from home.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is taking another step in her efforts to address issues North Dakotans may have with rural mail delivery service. The U.S. senator from North Dakota initiated an online Fix My Mail survey Tuesday. The survey includes six multiple-choice questions, plus a section to share personal stories of challenges North Dakotans have had with their mail delivery and service.
Cavalier housing project seeks applicants Homeowners in Cavalier, N.D., have until March 15 to apply for a home rehabilitation grant program. So far, 15 homes have been repaired or in the process of being repaired through the Cavalier Housing Rehabilitation Project, which is open to qualifying low- and middle-income families. Common repairs include roofing, windows, doors, plumbing, heating, electrical, and safety items.
DEVILS LAKE—Facing budget issues resulting from a trend toward lower inmate populations, plus increasing regulations, the five-county Lake Region Law Enforcement Center is seeking additional funding sources to help the facility break even financially. The board agreed this week to invite county commissioners, area legislators and other stakeholders to an upcoming meeting, possibly in March. "I think it's an opportune time to talk to our legislators. This is only going to get worse," said Ed Brown, a Ramsey County Commissioner and chairman of the jail board.